I'm zero-knowledged about Windows administration, so my question is really basic but nonetheless i wasn't able to find any reference.

If I am in a network and I have administrative privileges on the various machine, how can I remotely tweak users account settings? Like, I am Local\Administrator, how can I change Local\JohnDoe's desktop on the machine Pc13 or enable/disable audio and so on? Remote desktop is enabled on Pc13.


  • If you're going to be doing thing on a lot of PCs you'd be better off scripting the change to apply to all PCs in a list than remotely logging in to them. – sclarson Dec 22 '09 at 17:15

For the most part you can connect remotely through RDP by typing "MSTSC" in the run/search line of Windows. You'll just insert the name/ip of the box you're trying to connect to and then you'll have a remote session you can manage.

Couple of things to note:

  • On a desktop version of Windows, you can only connect to one session at a time using RDP. For example, if Local\JohnDoe is logged in and you log in as Local\Administrator, JohnDoe will be logged off.
  • In some cases, you may be better off managing the desktop by performing the following: Right Click on My Computer, choose "Manage." Right click on "Computer Management" and choose, "Connect to another computer". Type in the name of the computer to be managed.
  • Be aware of Windows firewall. It could prohibit some remote administration if it isn't configured.

Good luck!

  • You can get around the one session limit pretty easily by patching Termsrv.dll. (I don't know if it is legal or not.) But it works really well! – Tarnay Kálmán Dec 23 '09 at 11:57

If you are talking about Windows XP or newer machines, I would definitely use the Computer management tool. You can do this remotely as well. On your machine, go to Start - Run, then type compmgmt.msc in the run box. This will bring up the console for your local PC. To switch to another, go to Action, then connect to another computer.

Under the system tools tree on the left, you can manage local users and groups, local disks and many other things. To disable sound for instance, you can disable the Windows Audio service, under Services & applications, Services.

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